Police investigating Rabi Lamichhane's citizenship and passport

Published On: December 2, 2022 04:35 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 2: The police have started an investigation into the citizenship dispute of Rabi Lamichhane, the chairman of the Rastriya Swatantra Party and elected member of the House of Representatives from Chitwan-2.

The District Administration Office (DAO), Kathmandu, has sent a letter to the police and the police have started an investigation, said Superintendent of Police (SP) Dineshraj Mainali of the District Police Range, Kathmandu. “A letter has arrived from the district administration. The process of investigation has moved forward,” said SP Mainali.

It is alleged that Lamichhane did not renounce his Nepali citizenship when he received American citizenship and that he started using his old citizenship card again after renouncing his American citizenship. Ukeraa.com published a news report claiming that Lamichhane had obtained a Nepali passport despite already having an American passport.

According to Ukeraa, Lamichhane is now using the Nepal citizenship he had obtained in 2050 BS before moving to the US. Even after he took American citizenship, he does not seem to have given up his Nepali citizenship. When a Nepali acquires the citizenship of a foreign country, his/her Nepali citizenship automatically gets scrapped. After acquiring foreign citizenship, any Nepali must renounce their Nepali citizenship. However, it seems that Lamichhane took a Nepali passport in 2015 AD based on his revoked citizenship. Also, Lamichhane ran in the November 20 election using his old citizenship.

A complaint was filed against Lamichhane at the Election Commission. However, by the time the commission asked for clarification, voting had already taken place. Then a complaint was filed against him at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

After receiving the complaint, the home ministry sent a letter to the Kathmandu District Administration Office. Assistant Chief District Officer of Kathmandu, Khad Bahadur Shrestha said that the administration has sent a letter to the police range to investigate this.

According to the initial investigation, Lamichhane seems to have obtained a Nepali passport before renouncing his foreign citizenship and may be fined and imprisoned. The law also prescribes punishment for obtaining or attempting to obtain a passport or travel permit by giving false information.

Section 21 (a) of the Passport Act 2076 BS states that passports cannot be obtained by submitting false information. If caught doing so, according to Section 22, such people face a fine ranging from Rs 200,000 to Rs 500,000 or an imprisonment of one to three years or both.


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